whats this bug??
I am 14 years old and i live in Ohio. I was in my yard yesterday, and i found about 20 of these purple caterpillars on a plant (i think it might be poison ivy). i searched all over the internet but i could not find out what it is. But, i did find your website. Could you tell me what kind of caterpillar it is?? thank you =]
We love the striking and clashing magenta and orange coloration on your Argid Sawfly Larva. It seems we have seen this hip color combination on products sold at Target. Sawflies are not caterpillars. They are non-stinging relatives of wasps. This larva most closely matches a specimen on BugGuide called Arge coccinea that feeds on Sumac. It is possible that the color has changed just prior to pupation, or it might be a different but closely related species.
Update: December 24, 2008
We just received a new photo and letter, and our web searching led us to the identification of the Poison Ivy Sawfly, Arge humeralis. Photos of adults can be seen on BugGuide.